Fresh celery grown at home has a flavour that can't be matched by anything bought in a shop and has a dedicated following of enthusiastic growers.
Growing celery can require a little more care than other vegetables but this only adds to the satisfaction of growing your own. Self-blanching varieties ago a long way to make growing easy and there are a few basic principles that go a long way towards ensuring success. The plants must never receive a check to growth, care is needed when transplanting, hardening off and in watering properly. The soil must be moisture retentive and never dry out. As a result it is often better to grow in a trench filled with organic matter.
Sow Indoors February to April in trays of compost, 0.5cm/quarter-inch deep at a temperature of around 15°C/60°F. When large enough to handle transplant individually into small pots.
Make sure plants are properly hardened off before planting out at the end of May to early June. Plant out 23cm/9in. apart in a block so the plants shade each other to aid blanching. Water regularly during dry weather and feed every fortnight with a balanced liquid feed during the summer. A light dressing of a high nitrogen fertiliser after the plants have become established will help improve crops.
Trench varieties, those that need blanching to create the pale tender stems can be planted out in a trench so the stems can be covered over with soil as they grow. Alternatively stems can be wrapped with celery collar or thick paper to exclude the light.
Self-blanching varieties are ready to harvest between August and October and before the first frosts. Trench varieties will generally be ready to harvest a little later.